A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Thankscaking (Thanksgiving + cake) (11/25)
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Entry from February 15, 2014
Billionaire Beanstalk (luxury skyscraper)

Justin Davidson of New York magazine coined “billionaire beanstalk” (luxury skyscraper) in an architecture review on September 15, 2013:

“In theory, developers of these billionaires’ beanstalks pay for their portions of sky and light with architecture worth looking at. In practice, they judge design by their clients’ taste for glitz—which explains One57, by the Pritzker Prize winner Christian de Portzamparc. It’s a luxury object for people who see the city as their private snow globe.”

“Billionaire” means that the building is expensive to live in and “beanstalk” refers to a tall plant that grows to the sky, as in the tale of “Jack and the Beanstalk.” Steve Cuozzo, an architecture critic for the New York (NY) Post, used Davidson’s “billionaires’ beanstalks” on February 15, 2014.


Wikipedia: Jack and the Beanstalk
“Jack and the Beanstalk” is an English fairy tale. The earliest known appearance in print is Benjamin Tabart’s moralised version of 1807. “Felix Summerly” (Henry Cole) popularised it in The Home Treasury (1842), and Joseph Jacobs rewrote it in English Fairy Tales (1890). Jacobs’ version is most commonly reprinted today and it is believed to be closer to the oral versions than Tabart’s because it lacks the moralising.

New York magazine
Giants in Our Midst
The first of the 1,000-footers stomps onto 57th Street.

By Justin Davidson
Published Sep 15, 2013
If you’ve ever gazed southward across Sheep Meadow, your eye gratified by the play of horizontal bodies and vertical architecture, and if that pleasure has ever been disrupted by the shock of a lone building thrust far above midtown’s jagged silhouette—well, the view is about to change. One57, the 1,004-foot tower now standing in solitude, is getting company. Along 57th Street, lanky residential skyscrapers will soon be lining up for Central Park views like an NBA team craning to peer at a new iPhone. From the penthouse, the park looks virtual and screenlike, a glossy rectangle of green, populated by tiny avatars. That’s us down there—silent, flitting specks looking up at the homes of aerial overlords. We are your view. You’re welcome.

That miniaturizing perspective isn’t priceless—a mere $90 million or so buys a nice duplex perch—but we bear the aesthetic cost. In theory, developers of these billionaires’ beanstalks pay for their portions of sky and light with architecture worth looking at. In practice, they judge design by their clients’ taste for glitz—which explains One57, by the Pritzker Prize winner Christian de Portzamparc. It’s a luxury object for people who see the city as their private snow globe. Tall and clunky, preening yet graceless, the tower recapitulates an assortment of commercially proven stylistic gestures from New York’s recent past.
(...)
One57
157 West 57th Street.
Designed by Christian de Portzamparc.

Twitter
LeEllen Dylaan
‏@LeEllenDylaan
#Billionaires’ Beanstalks.  #NewYork skyline is filling up with sparsely populated habitats for oligarchs who, if… http://fb.me/22S7OgspN
12:48 AM - 17 Sep 2013

Twitter
Steve Cuozzo
‏@stevecuozzo
Yes! Cuozzo stands up for the “billionaires’ beanstalks” rising to 1500 feet near Central Park. In Sunday’s NY Post.
9:54 AM - 15 Feb 2014

New York (NY) Post
February 15, 2014 | 2:17pm
NYC’s coming ‘supertowers’ are nothing to fear
By Steve Cuozzo
(...)
New York magazine’s Justin Davidson wittily described the “billionaires’ beanstalks” as “lining up for Central park views like an NBA team craning to peer at a new iPhone.”
(...)
The “billionaires’ beanstalks” won’t make the rest of us wealthy. But however counter-intuitively, they make the city a richer place for everyone.

Twitter
Les Hinton
‏@leshinton
. @stevecuozzo welcomes “billionaire beanstalks” sprouting in Manhattan, and makes you think again http://nyp.st/MUho6V via @nypost
5:54 PM - 15 Feb 2014

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityBuildings/Housing/Parks • Saturday, February 15, 2014 • Permalink